I like companies that try and challenge the position taken by big enterprises by getting interesting things on market, proving a small team of dedicated people can do something amazing with a reasonable amount of money. One of those companies is Light Blue Optics,  who presented at CES 2010 a new type of gadget: pico projector that displays an image which can react to human interaction acting like a touchscreen device.

    The device is called Light Touch and resembles one of the virtual keyboard that projected an infrared image on any surface allowing the user to type by touching the virtual keys. The Light Touch works almost the same but it’s more advanced: it projects a 10 inch images that’s autofocused on the surface it’s been projected onto and supports single touch gestures for now, with multi touch support just around the corner, said Light Blue Optics.

    Touch interface without a touch screen

    Touch interface without a touch screen

    From hardware standpoint the pico projector uses Lasers to project the image (not LEDs) and is capable of displaying a WVGA image (800 x 480). The interface is made using Flash Lite 3.1 stored on a 2GB internal memory space. Interaction with other devices is done via WiFi or Bluetooth and the battery lasts about 2 hours.

    Ordering at a restaurand with Light Touch

    Ordering at a restaurand with Light Touch

    What’s more interested are the ways a Light Touch can be useful to users: imagine a restaurant where you could view the menu and make your order using the surface of the tablet as the touch interface, instead of using a touch screen laptop. The ability to transform any surface in a touchscreen means lower costs: just a screw to mount the pico projector and you’re set. Below there’s an ‘official’ video showing how the Light Touch interacts with the user:

    And a demo of the Light Touch done at CES: